Facebook as a Meeting Point for Generations? Experiences of Intergenerational Relations on Social Network Sites

By Bernadette Kneidinger.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Communication

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Digital technology, demographic transformations, increasing globalization, and individual mobility—daily lives of people are changing, and all of these factors influence intergenerational contact. The number of children is decreasing, life expectations are raising, and families are becoming “multilocal” (Bertram 1995). At the same time, the Internet is losing its image as “youth media” and is becoming an integral part of everyday life, even for the older generations. Social networking sites are used not only as an information source but also as a communication channel and as a tool for socializing. Thus, the question appears: To what extent are social networking sites such as Facebook used as a platform for intergenerational communication? To answer this question, young and old users of Facebook were asked in qualitative interviews and in an online survey about their communication habits and how they use the social networking site to maintain interactions with family members from different generations.

Keywords: Communication, Social Network Sites, Intergenerational Contacts, Online Survey

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Communication, Volume 8, Issue 3, November 2014, pp.25-32. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 403.663KB).

Dr. Bernadette Kneidinger

Junior Professor, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Bamberg, Bamberg, Germany